Abilities Without Boundaries
615 West Johnson Ave
Cheshire CT 06410
Contact Information
Address 615 West Johnson Ave
Cheshire, CT 06410-
Telephone (203) 272-5607 x
Fax 203-272-4284
E-mail kcassesse@abilitieswithoutboundaries.org
Web and Social Media

 Abilities without Boundaries (AWB) empowers individuals with disabilities the freedom and opportunity to succeed in social and vocational pursuits within a safe, nurturing environment. 


At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1979
Former Names
Cheshire Occupational & Career Services
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
CEO/Executive Director Kevin Cassesse
Board Chair Michael Lenkowski
Board Chair Company Affiliation Meyers, Harrison, & Pia, LLC
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years

 Abilities without Boundaries (AWB) empowers individuals with disabilities the freedom and opportunity to succeed in social and vocational pursuits within a safe, nurturing environment. 


Since 1978, Abilities Without Boundaries has helped countless individuals with developmental disabilities lead a more productive and fulfilling life. Abilities Without Boundaries is a strong advocate for the rights of people with developmental disabilities. For more than 30 years, AWB has been helping to make a difference throughout Connecticut.
In 2011, Cheshire Occupational & Career Opportunities changed their name to Abilities Without Boundaries and continued expanding their impact throughout the state. What began with a few concerned parents has blossomed into an organization with a deep and profound commitment to the advocacy, inclusion and respect for individuals with developmental disabilities. AWB is committed to providing a diverse and highly enriched experience for each client and their individual needs.
AWB currently provides services to clients in the areas of employment and day services. Clients are employed in a wide scope of jobs in the communities served. AWB is committed to brainstorming new and innovative ideas that will allow clients to share their talents with the greater community.


Abilities without Boundaries placed significant focus on expanding employment opportunities, enhancing cultural awareness and empowering the rights, respect and dignity of our participants. Below you will find highlighted progress notes from the last year:


Abilities Without Boundaries has continued to expand our employment program to allow as many consumers as possible to fulfill their dreams in maintaining employment. 75% of the participants at Abilities Without Boundaries engage in some form of employment. 51% work in the community, 18% work in house, and 6% work independently.

 Abilities Without Boundaries has expanded job site offerings by 57%, increasing from 30 sites in February 2014 to 47 sites in February 2015. In addition to increasing the number of sites at already existing partnerships, we were able to forge new relationships with 8 employers.

Abilities Without Boundaries continues to strive to encourage as much diversity and awareness as possible. In March 2014, Abilities Without Boundaries hired a recreation coordinator to organize and host recreational events including activities that expanded cultural awareness. Monthly recreation calendars were created with at least one cultural activity offered including Cinco de Mayo party, Rosh Hashanah hot lunch, Multicultural Thanksgiving, Martin Luther King Day “dream a dream” activities, and Black History Month hot lunch.

We continue to strive for program participants to experience a high level of respect and dignity throughout their time at Abilities Without Boundaries. In June 2014, Abilities Without Boundaries began its first Self-Determination Group. This group, which meets twice a month with an adviser, discusses empowerment of individuals with disabilities. The group is entirely based on each individual’s rights as individuals. They discuss and practice self-advocacy and are learning through their adviser how to learn about themselves and accomplish their wants and needs. 



In order to continue building on recent successes, Abilities Without Boundaries continually evaluates their needs from various perspectives.  Currently, AWB identifies their most pressing needs as:

  • Career opportunities for clients
  • Larger facilities for rapidly expanding staff and client base
  • Accessible transportation options for clients
  • Capacity building including staff training, strategic planning and the ability to build infrastructure for a rapidly growing organization
  • Advocacy and inclusion for people with developmental disabilities throughout CT

CEO Statement

Dear Community Members,

Abilities without Boundaries strives to provide excellence in leadership, education, advocacy, quality and service for all of our consumers.  Our passion is to empower those with disabilities to uncover and pursue their dreams.  We envision the highest level of customer service that provides businesses and the community with outstanding support, quality work, and clear communication that demonstrate the true potential of our consumers to achieve beyond expectations.
As we look to the future, Abilities without Boundaries counts on strategic partnerships and support from the community to grow our programs and impact throughout central CT.  By partnering with AWB our consumers gain meaningful work experience while providing quality services to residents and businesses in our community.  We invite you to learn more about how AWB is impacting our community and enriching the lives of our consumers by visiting our website, touring our facility, participating in one of our events, or learning more about how your business can become involved…the possibilities are endless!
Nikki DeRenzo
Executive Director 


Board Chair Statement

Dear Friends,

On behalf of the Board of Directors, please accept my gratitude for your contributions, support and engagement in our remarkable organization.   The organization has made impressive strides over the past year by making prudent investments in our talent, infrastructure and resources so that we can provide a premiere level of service to our clients.  

 My fellow board members and I recognize the importance of taking our program to the next level.  Our board thrives upon advocacy, as we continuously focus efforts on the supreme objective to consider and engage all aspects that truly address the needs of our clients.  We exhibit an unwillingness to accept the status quo, and provide encouragement that has helped motivate the organization strive not only to meet, but exceed goals.  The board devotes their time and energy on initiatives such as strategic planning, fundraising, operational evaluations, meaningful programs and opportunities for our clients, renewal and upgrade of our facilities and resources, business plans, and the development of our management and staff. 

Our culture is centered on "getting stuff done" and more importantly motivating others within the organization to live this core value and embrace challenges to succeed beyond expectations.  While we encourage bright ideas, we pride ourselves on the resulting accomplishments and recognize the significance of hard work.  We know that we have to "earn our way" in order to achieve success and conquer the next level. 

I would like to acknowledge and show appreciation to board members Judy Rowinski and Gerry Barker, who have served the organization with distinction and dedication, each for twenty plus years, and continue to be essential and key in our efforts to take the organization to the next level.  I would also like to recognize Clay Yalof, who stepped down from the board in December 2012 after twenty plus years of devoted and dedicated service.  The organization is extremely fortunate to have had a board member and more appropriately, a visionary, who brought his best ideas to the forefront, who engaged others through a premier level of leadership, and whose passion provided the building blocks to bring the organization to a premier position in its field.  Clay, Judy and Gerry have all personally impacted my engagement with the organization as their stewardship has inspired me to go above and beyond.

I would like to extend a special remembrance for two remarkable clients, who unfortunately we lost this past year, John Vlahos and Andrew Delage.  We miss the energy and joy they brought us each and every day.   Their positive spirits and legacies are instilled within our organization. 

We are an organization that is bound by our relationships and trust.  The board is so very fond of our clients and their meaningful accomplishments.  As a board we value our relationship with management and staff and look forward to opportunities to develop and strengthen the bond.  We are truly fortunate to have the support of so many generous contributors, supporters and business partners.  Together we can all "live" the mission and core values of Abilities Without Boundaries and continue to make the organization a better place for tomorrow.

Thank you for your trust,

Michael Lenkowski

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Health Care / Health Support
Areas Served
East Haven
Lower Naugatuck Valley
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
Cheshire, Hamden, Naugatuck, Prospect, Meriden, Waterbury, Wolcott, Southington, Bristol, Berlin, New Britain, Durham, Wallingford
Through employer partnerships, AWB provides valuable services to local businesses while offering employment for both individuals and groups with varying abilities. Through job training and coaching on various work sites, our clients gain independence and work experience. AWB supplies on-site job coaches whose role is to supervise and assist when necessary. Job Coaches help to ensure that the needs of each business are met while each member attains his or her own goals. To increase reliability, AWB provides transportation to and from job sites for clients.
How can AWB help your business?
By becoming an employer partner, you can cut costs. Working with AWB will enhance workplace diversity and directly contribute to your community. AWB ensures work will be done effectively and efficiently, and that you will be helping AWB by providing employment opportunities for participants.
Population Served Elderly and/or Disabled / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. Individuals placed in work settings through Abilities Without Boundaries will exhibit improvement and/or master the goals set forth by the Department of Developmental Services.  In addition, throughout a calendar year each individual will be introduced to and improve on identifiable work related skills.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. Long-term success will include individualized placement for all working individuals at Abilities Without Boundaries.  Not only will each individual be employed, but they will be working towards employment in a field or industry that appeals to them and suits their abilities.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Program success is monitored through Abilities Without Boundaries and Department of Developmental case management.  Surveys and interviews are also conducted with participants in the program and employers of those with disabilities to gauge individual success and overall inclusion progress.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
Let me tell you about Roger. He is adamant about working each day and is successful at many jobs. Roger is currently employed with Delmar Products, where he sorts and assembles guitar picks for printing. Along with his work crew, Roger can complete thousands of picks per week. In addition, Roger is one of the most polite people you will ever meet. He greets everyone with ahandshake and is generous and kind in every way.

Roger is a success story at Abilities without Boundaries. He has a developmental disability, but has been given a chance. He is an adult who has the capability to be a productive member of society, but who might have been kept out of the workforce due to the boundaries our society set out before him.

Let me stress, might! Roger is fortunate because he is a participant at Abilities without Boundaries, where he is provided with an on site job coach to ensure that he is successful and that the needs of his employer are met.

As part of the learning process at Abilities Without Boundaries, clients participate in Community Experience programming. Individuals in this program visit a wide range of settings to stimulate their social skills and learn. With the help of a trained staff person, the clients from Abilities Without Boundaries travel to local parks, shopping malls, grocery stores, and more. These unique sites help teach social interaction, money exchange, and dining skills outside the Abilities Without Boundaries facility.

In FY2015, AWB has drafted strategic goals for the AWB Community Program focusing on diversity, independence and quality.  The following components are valuable strategies to ensuring our participants become integrated into their community and independent in their lives:

  • Abilities without Boundaries will hire a new position of Recreational Coordinator who will have the responsibility and strategic goal of creating community experiences with the opportunity for relationship building and inclusion. 
  • The Recreational Coordinator will develop a self-advocacy group among participants to promote awareness in the community and educate participants on inclusion.
  • The will be specific focus to creating diverse activities and community opportunities.
  • The monthly calendar will be approved by leadership to ensure that diversity is focused on throughout the year.
Population Served / /
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. Throughout any given fiscal year, participants should be working towards their Department of Developmental Services goals via their Day Program activities.  A short-term organizational wide goal is for each participant to be introduced to two new community experiences within the first six months of FY14.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. Long-term success includes inclusion for participants with disabilities into their community.  In addition, participants will be conscious of appropriate social behavior and be able to identify ways to interact with their peers and society.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Success is monitored by day program staff and DDS case management via interviews with participants and staff as well as annual team meetings.  
CEO/Executive Director
Kevin Cassesse
Term Start Feb 2016
Email kcassesse@abilitieswithoutboundaries.org
Number of Full Time Staff 19
Number of Part Time Staff 26
Number of Volunteers 15
Staff Retention Rate 83%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 28
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 5
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 20
Female 25
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs and Terms
Nikki DeRenzo Dec 2013 - Feb 2016
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce2013
Board Chair
Michael Lenkowski
Company Affiliation Meyers, Harrison, & Pia, LLC
Term Oct 2014 to Nov 2016
Board of Directors
Laurie Adams Webster Bank
John Atkins Main Street Financial Group, LLC
Gerry Barker Barker Specialty
Ryan Corey Law Offices of Ryan B. Corey, LLC
Nancy Lydell Calcagni Real Estate
Mike O'Brien Duncaster
Steve Proffit State Education Resource Center
Mark Proffitt Retired
Judy Rowinski St. Bridget School
Dr. Lloyd Saberski Advanced Diagnostic Pain Treatment Center
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 8
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Standing Committees
Board Development / Board Orientation
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2015
Fiscal Year End June 30 2016
Projected Revenue $2,030,686.00
Projected Expenses $1,974,742.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$587,311$462,962$369,922
Current Assets$336,111$264,955$196,299
Long-Term Liabilities$143,072$96,128$81,418
Current Liabilities$128,204$107,888$95,557
Total Net Assets$316,035$258,946$192,947
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountCheshire Half Marathon $24,000Barter Network $5,000Barter Network $15,000
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Yale New Haven Hospital $7,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Bristol Meyers Squibb $5,000
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Goal $250,000.00
Dates June 2014 to June 2016
Amount Raised To Date 137728 as of July 2015
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Some financial information from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved has been inputted by Foundation staff. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. A more complete picture of the organization’s finances can be obtained by viewing the attached 990s and audited financials. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address 615 West Johnson Ave
Cheshire, CT 06410
Primary Phone 203 272-5607
CEO/Executive Director Kevin Cassesse
Board Chair Michael Lenkowski
Board Chair Company Affiliation Meyers, Harrison, & Pia, LLC


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